Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 27th 2014 Contents A5
Thursday, February 27, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
California couple Chantal
Grant and Arif Ali could not
contain their glee yesterday at
becoming the proud parents of
this country s first triplets for
Yesterday Grant, 19, of Railway
Road, Dow Village, delivered two
the San Fernando General Hos-
pital via Caesarian section.
The babies, named Zafir, Zamir
and Zareefa, were delivered a
month early. They weighted 1.94
kg, 1.77 kg and 1.82 kg respec-
tively. They are said to be doing
well and are breathing on their
Grant, speaking with the T&T
Guardian from her hospital bed
yesterday, said she was grateful
for her precious miracles, all of
whom were delivered complica-
"I am really happy," she said,
She said the babies were par-
ticularly special to her because
she had been trying to get preg-
nant since early last year.
Doctors told her she had cysts
in her ovaries and she would have
to go on medication. She said she
told them she wanted to have
children and was given fertility
"I took the pills and when they
did the ultrasound they said I had
one fully developed egg and two
small ones. When I went back
they tell me I was pregnant," she
Grant admitted she was not
expecting triplets when the doc-
tors told her she was pregnant
but was thrilled when she got the
"In the beginning when I take
the ultrasound, after three
months, they say it was triplets.
I had to accept it. I had no choice.
It was shocking, I cried and thing.
I was not crying because I was
sad or was vex or anything, I was
just really happy."
Excited father, Arif Ali, 24, said
he was pleasantly surprised when
he was handed two sons and a
daughter yesterday morning,
since he was expecting two
daughters and a son.
Ali had even presented his wife
with two "it s a girl" balloons and
one "it s a boy" balloon.
"I was shocked this morning
when they bring them out and
tell me it is two boys and one
girl but I was more happy when
they said everything okay with
them and they really healthy
and they normal.
"I feel really proud and happy
to know it is three of them
because I thought it was one and
it was one we were prepared for.
Then we happen to get three, I
was happy to get them," he said.
Grant said she was in some
pain but it was worth it.
However, she was quick to add:
"I do not want any more, that s
it. No more babies for me, no
Ali agreed. He said he had
always wanted two children, a
boy and a girl, "one at a time."
"I didn t know it would have
come all in one. It was three one
time. So we had to go with the
flow, we just happy about it," he
Artist Leroy Clarke has received a threatening
phone call, warning him his public denunciation
of homosexuality could damage his career.
"It was a semi-threat. It was not a threat against
my life but my livelihood," Clarke told the T&T
Guardian in a telephone interview yesterday.
"Somebody called me on my telephone. I did not
recognise the voice. He said I have a career and to
watch it. I could damage it," he said.
Clarke said the indirect message was that the gay
community would no longer be patronising him.
"I am not taking on those things. I believe in what
I said," he added.
Clarke ignited the anger of the gay community
when he said homosexuality was threatening the
In a subsequent T&T Guardian article, he elab-
orated on the statement, saying it came from his
belief in a God he did not know, the Scriptures which
condemned homosexuality and his upbringing.
"I grew up under-
standing it was so and I
am convinced it is so. I
grew up with the Bible,
God s Word, but it looks
like God s Word is not
He added: "My view is
not popular with a certain
sector. It is unfortunate
that sector moves moun-
tains in certain areas of
"There is a community
and it s strong enough,
big enough and influential
enough. Certain power bases are lobbying for con-
stitutional recognition and it s very possible such a
move will become inevitable.
"Now people want to harm you. They told me to
watch my career but I don t have a career. I have
a life. They can t stop me from painting."
Clarke said he was totally against violence against
anyone because of his persuasion. "I don t hate any-
body, period. But one needs to be assertive about
his beliefs," he said.
His main concern was that homosexuality was
interfering with African identity, he added.
He said his telephone had been ringing almost
non-stop since his declarations and there was a good
balance in the calls.
About half of the callers did not like his statements
on homosexuality and half was very supportive, he
A lot of support came from happy Christian pastors
who thanked him for speaking out like that, he said.
Concerning his comments about homosexuality
and gangs, Clarke said: "People actually said those
things to me."
He said despite what people feel inclined to do,
there was an in-built sense of right and wrong inside
He said humanity was going through a terrible
time when distinctions were no longer made, includ-
ing in the area of gender.
Clarke said there was a need for T&T to review
its stand on a number of positions, including that
which he abhored.
"We have to define our approach to settling the
question. We should not pretend it does not exist,"
The State has lost its final
bid to have a High Court judge
recuse himself from hearing
the Highway Reroute Move-
ment (HRM) constitutional
motion lawsuit, with the Privy
Council yesterday refusing to
grant it leave to pursue its
appeal on the issue.
However, the HRM s legal vic-
tory does not stand to seriously
affect the status of the case as
hearings before Justice James
Aboud were unfazed while the
appeal application was being
determined by the British-based
As part of its decision not to
grant the leave, the panel of
judges also ordered the State to
pay the HRM s legal costs for
defending the application.
The recusal request was cen-
tred around Aboud alleged
apparent bias in the case because
of his brother Gary s role as sec-
retary of environmental group
,Fisherman and Friends of the
Sea, an organisation which the
State contended was connected
with the HRM and shared its
A hearing was held simulta-
neously before Aboud in Port-
of-Spain High Court yesterday
morning during which he heard
submissions from the State over
an interim injunction stopping
construction work at the dis-
puted Debe to Mon Desir seg-
ment of the Solomon Hochoy
Highway extension project.
The group sought the urgent
injunction earlier this month,
when the State was due to
respond to a similar application
for an injunction filed almost
four months ago.
The initial application was
blighted by several delays,
including the State s recusal
application which was dismissed
by both Aboud and the Appeal
Court before it was appealed to
the Privy Council.
The group s lead attorney,
Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, SC,
had said his clients could not
wait for the first application to
be determined, as the State had
ramped up construction at the
site since the beginning of this
month and the project might
reach an advanced stage while
the initial application was being
Maharaj was present in the
Privy Council for the decision.
Responding to the request for
the injunction, the State s lead
attorney, Russell Martineau, SC,
raised a series of issues which
he said precluded the group
from being able to seek the relief.
He said: "I might be wrong
but this claim can not succeed...
everything is overwhelmingly in
While questioning the timing
of the group s application, Mar-
tineau noted that although the
group was aware that construc-
tion works were taking place
since November 2012, it only
sought to stop the work almost
13 months later.
The HRM s legal team is
expected to respond to Mar-
tineau when the case continues
next week Thursday.
Highway Re-route Movement lawsuit...
State loses final recusal bid
After remarks on
Triplets for Central mom
Proud dad, Arif Ali, 24, presents his wife, Chantal Grant, with flowers and balloons at her bedside
yesterday at the San Fernando General Hospital hours after she gave birth to this country's first
triplets for 2014. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
can handle it
Dr Krishna Rampersadsingh,
head of obstetrics and
gynaecology at San Fernando
General Hospital, commended
the team of doctors who
performed the 45-minute
He said Drs Colin
Jaggernath, Shane Khan,
Wendell Cozier, Stephen
Ramnarine and Ravi Boodram
delivered the babies without
Rampersadsingh said the
hospital was prepared for the
multiple births and was well
equipped for the delivery.
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